ISS Educational Policy: Next to rescue, rehabilitation and release in the policy of ISS lies education. This important and mammoth task was always a priority with ISS from its inception to the present day.
The responsibility of educating the public in general and youth in particular in regard to the environment should be top of the list of duties for any organisation concerned with the natural environment and its future. This enthusiasm for education was made gravely apparent to ISS’ founder Brendan Price during his time at Dublin Zoo. For it was here that the whole importance of rescue, rehabilitation and responsibility for our natural world, for the indigenous flora and fauna of our very own country became evermore evident and crucial to him. Gone were the days of zoo visits and admiring the animal world simply for our own selfish pleasure without a deeper consideration of our responsibility towards society, future generations and the greater environment. Brendan was one the first to advocate that the zoo should develop an educational programme with a full time education officer. The launching of the Seal Sanctuary in Garristown and Courtown brought about the opportunity to set up many important projects on different vital aspects of the environment.
Developing the awareness of both young people and adults is both an important and gratifying task for ISS and it takes many forms:
- Classes in primary and secondary schools given by ISS and its team of volunteers throughout Ireland
- Tours of the seal sanctuaries in Garristown and Courtown
- The provision of training opportunities for wildlife volunteers as regular volunteers, including graduate and post-graduate students
- Coastal walks for adults and school groups
- The production and distribution of film and slide show presentations
- Providing financial bursaries for university students
- Regular training of staff members and volunteers
- Hosting of transition students in their work experience programmes in many local schools
- Art and literary competitions on the subject of seals
- Beach cleaning and combing programmes for waste and rubbish as an example of preventative and direct action
- Establishment and promotion among the young of projects in many other related fields such as the Whale and Dolphin Society, the Badger project, the SFAG, THE Balbriggan Maritime Museum, Oiled Birds Programmes amongst others.
- The exciting re-vitalisation of the ISS means a continuation of these beneficial and rewarding projects and programmes.
For more take a look at Lukas Soden’s ‘Interview with Brendan Price, Founder of the Irish Seal Sanctuary’: Interview with Brendan Price 2013
Below you can find some useful educational material for adults and children: